BCC Brexit

The British Chamber of Commerce (BCC) has published a list of twenty questions it says businesses need answers to ahead of next month’s European Union exit date.

At the end of March, the UK is set to leave the European Union with businesses still lacking answers to some of the most fundamental questions. The report published earlier this week by the BCC covers everything from the movement of skilled workers to how tariffs will work after Brexit.

The key issue for business is that uncertainty is stifling investment and preventing adequate long-term planning to mitigate potentially negative effects of Brexit.

When we spoke to the London-based Guild of Travel and Tourism back in July, Chief Executive Nigel Bishop outlined industry-wide concerns about the lack of clarity surrounding hiring workers from Europe. What was unclear in July is no clearer now and as we enter the final weeks before the UK formally leaves the European Union we once again urge the government to listen to the needs of business and clarify these key issues in order to avert the negative economic impact of a disordered Brexit.

The intervention by the BCC comes as the London Chamber of Commerce and Industry’s (LCCI) Capital 500 Quarterly Economic Survey – covering the last quarter of 2018 – showed that confidence in the London economy and general business prospects had reached record lows amidst the unprecedented uncertainty.

There is concern across the business community that if the UK leaves the EU next month without a deal that the government preparations will not be sufficient to prevent substantial economic damage.

Adam Marshall, Director General of British Chamber of Commerce said:

“In less than 50 days, UK firms could face the biggest change to their terms of trade in over a generation, without the information and clarity they need to navigate their forward course.

“It is little wonder that many firms have been holding back on investment, stockpiling, and even opening offices and moving operations and jobs elsewhere. The imperative remains to avoid a messy and disorderly exit on March 29th, but businesses need answers they can base decisions on, no matter the outcome. The lack of clear, precise answers is now causing real damage to many businesses, and to the wider economy.”

As chambers of commerce representing London, Greater Manchester and Bristol we are continuing to gather evidence for a campaign – Terms of Trade: the reality of Brexit for business – exploring the everyday impacts of the most widely discussed Brexit scenarios on business through our members’ own insights. Email hello@chamber.online to share your views.